Faculty of Arts

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This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2016 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

Monash University

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Centre for Theatre and Performance


Dr Stacy Holman-Jones



  • First semester 2016 (Day)


This unit will examine key theories of theatre and performance practice in the western world from Aristotle, to the artistic movements of Symbolism and German Expressionism, to the anti-naturalism of Meyerhold and Brecht, to Grotowski and the recent contemporary development of Postdramatic theatre. The course connects these theories to theatrical practice in specific historical periods, to gain insights into the artistic, philosophical and political foundations of the various forms in their own times and how they might have influenced practitioners in later days, including the present.


Upon successful completion of the unit students will:

  1. possess a broader knowledge of a range of theatre traditions, past and present;
  2. have some acquaintance with the ideas of key thinkers whose work bears on the interpretation and understanding of theatre and performance;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between theatre movements and their socio-historical and cultural contexts;
  4. be able to employ a critical approach to historical and contemporary debates in the study and practice of theatre;
  5. debate the ethical and social dimensions of theatre;
  6. demonstrate an understanding of the key issues in the interpretation and reception of theatre and performance;
  7. have developed their ability to discuss major theorists and practitioners of twentieth century western theatre and their legacy


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Theatre